I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day!
On Christmas day in 1863, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was inspired to write the poem we now know as the Christmas carol, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.” It was a testament to the resilience of faith in the human spirit.
The New England Historical Society reports that Longfellow had fallen into a depression in 1861 when his second wife Frances died. She had been sealing envelopes with hot wax when a flame caught her clothes on fire. Henry had rushed to her aid and tried to smother the flames. But by the time the fire was out, Frances had been burned beyond recovery. She died the next day. Henry, burned badly as well, was too sick to attend her funeral.